THE COMPUTER VIRUS PROJECT is a new, entirely ocular procedure of cultural criticism. THE COMPUTER VIRUS PROJECT strives to develop a field approach to the problems of visual representation in order to reveal hidden casual operations in the kaleidoscopic transformations of contemporary art and social history. Our contemporary technological image environment has created a unique social process that reshapes both art and other technologies alike. Our current international, visually oriented selfconsciousness extends all visual modalities into an electronic unified field of continuity and non-verbal connectiveness. With THE COMPUTER VIRUS PROJECT we can imagine new shapes and structures of human interdependence and abrupt reorganizations of imaginative life. Such a change is always delayed by the persistence of older patterns of perception. Thus THE COMPUTER VIRUS PROJECT proposes that a nonverbal approach towards the creation of a critical art, conscious of the major factors which art has set into motion during the past 25 years, can elucidate a principle of social and artistic change not yet fully realized. The inevitable drive for “closure” and completion in comprehension based on a series of wordy historical observations of our cultural environment can be found elsewhere. THE COMPUTER VIRUS PROJECT proceeds on the basic understanding that verbal language is a metaphor, which not only stores but also translates experience from one mode to another. THE COMPUTER VIRUS PROJECT will provide a depository of visual images for others to verbally transmute.
Our extended faculties and senses now constitute a single field of experience which demands that we become collectively conscious. This collective awareness and interplay is global in extent. A purely visual interplay with all extensions of our human functions and tastes is now
necessary for the progressive integration of our many separate qualities. Thus THE COMPUTER VIRUS PROJECT will seek to problematize the normal linear depiction of visual concepts in favor of a multilinear process. It will not have one singular point of view or a fixed position from which it depicts the visual unfolding of events. Rather it looks for an operative dynamics of all visual data. The dynamics will encase a critical non-verbal discussion as images are deranged to comment each other (while suspending final judgment). Through this process we can transcend the limitations of our own assumptions via a critique of them.
- Joseph Nechvatal is an American artist, who has been working as artist in residence at the Louis Pasteur studio in Arbois, France, since 1991. He also works at Ledoux Foundation’s computer lab near Arbois. His specific project is to experiment with computer viruses as a creative tool.
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